MAYWOOD, Ill. – The record high temperatures that have dominated most of the summer are continuing to make outdoor activities more dangerous. Despite the extreme heat and humidity many people are exercising outside, knowing winter is just around the corner.
“It’s great to get outside and exercise before the cold weather sets in, but this year’s record heat makes it all the more important to take precautions so you don’t make a healthy activity bad for your health,” said Kara Smith, personal trainer and special projects coordinator at Loyola Center for Fitness.
Here are a few tips to keep you safe while exercising in the heat.
1. Stay Hydrated. Drink water before, during and after you exercise. You should be drinking half your body weight to make sure you stay hydrated while exercising in the heat. Weigh yourself before you head outside and again as soon as you get home. Whatever weight you lost is water weight so drink that amount in ounces of water to replenish your body.
2. Choose Your Time Wisely. Avoid exercising outside during the hottest times of the day which are usually from 10am – 4 pm.
3. Protect Your Skin. Be sure to wear a waterproof and sweatproof sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
4. Protect Your Eyes. If exercising during the daylight hours wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
5. Let the Heat Escape. Clothes that are light colored and lighter weight will help keep you cooler. Also, look for clothing made out of materials that pull moisture away from the body like cotton. Try to avoid wearing hats, which don’t allow heat to escape through the head. Wear sunscreen instead.
“Go easy when exercising in the heat, especially if you’re just starting out. It takes seven-10 days for the body to get used to the heat,” said Smith.
Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 28 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 561-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.